Surface-Wave Tomography by Ambient Noise Seismic Interferometry to Image Volcanic and Geothermal Systems in South Iceland

Joana Esteves Martins, Elmer Ruigrok, Andy Hooper, Kees Weemstra, Deyan Draganov, Ramon Hanssen, Heidi Soosalu, Robert White, Philippe Jousset, Gylfi Hersir

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Tomographic studies based on passive seismic measurements have proven to be a powerful tool to image the subsurface. This especially holds in areas like Iceland, where the microseism coverage arriving from the ocean is
excellent. In this study, we apply Ambient Noise Seismic Interferometry (ANSI) to generate a tomographic image of Rayleigh-waves velocity anomalies to further invert for S-wave anomalies at two Icelandic locations. We derive a
tomographic image over Reykjanes Peninsula geothermal system using 30 Broad-Band (BB) stations deployed under the IMAGE (Integrated Methods for Advanced Geothermal Exploration) project framework and operated for approximately one year and a half. In the other case study, we derive a tomographic image of Torfajökull volcano using 23 BB seismometers that recorded ambient noise for 100 days. The later data were acquired in 2005 by Cambridge University.
We retrieve the surface-wave part of the Green’s functions by cross-correlation between station pairs and consecutive stacking of the cross-correlations to obtain coherent ballistic surface waves (BSW). We pick the arrival times
of the BSW, which are the input for the tomographic analysis. Both datasets show remarkably high signal-to-noise ratio of surface-wave arrivals between 0.1 and 0.5 Hz, even with only 100 days of recorded ambient noise. A beamforming analysis indicates a broad azimuthal coverage with persistent ambient noise arrivals within three azimuthal quadrants - between 90 and 360 degrees. The highly coherent surface-wave retrieval and the wide azimuthal coverage of the microseisms explain the success of ANSI techniques in Iceland.
For the tomographic inversion, we use a Tikhonov and a statistical regularisation to invert the ballistic surface-wave time-arrival to 3D frequency-dependent velocity variations. After further inversion to S-wave velocity variations,
we detect low- and high-velocity anomalies with changes between -15% and 15% from an estimated average velocity, we interpret these anomalies as possible old dyke intrusions and heat sources.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventEGU General Assembly 2018 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 8 Apr 201813 Apr 2018


ConferenceEGU General Assembly 2018
Abbreviated titleEGU 2018
Internet address


  • Torfajökull
  • Magmatic System
  • Radar interferometry
  • Seismic Interferometry
  • Volcanoes
  • InSAR
  • ambient noise
  • Tomography
  • Displacement


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